R. Crumb’s obsessions—from sex to the Bible, music, politics, and the vicissitudes and obscenities of daily life—are chronicled in this comprehensive book of work by the illustrious American comic artist.
Instrumental in the formation of the underground comics scene in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s, Crumb has ruptured and expanded the boundaries of the graphic arts, redefining comics and cartoons as countercultural art forms. Presenting a slice of Crumb’s unique universe, this book features a wide array of printed matter culled from the artist’s five-decade career—tear sheets of drawings and comics taken directly from the publications where the works first appeared, magazine and album covers, broadsides from the 1960s and 1970s, tabloids from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, Oakland, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and other counterculture enclaves, as well as exhibition ephemera. Complementing this volume are historical works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that have inspired Crumb and pages from his rarely seen sketchbooks from the 1970s and 1980s that reveal his exemplary skill as a draftsman.
Documenting the critically acclaimed exhibition Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R. Crumb at David Zwirner, New York, in 2019, curated by Robert Storr, this publication offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in Crumb’s singular mind. In the accompanying text, Storr explores the challenging nature of some of Crumb’s work and the importance of artists who take on the status quo.
For over five decades, R. Crumb (b. 1943) has used the popular medium of the comic book to address the absurdity of social conventions, political disillusionment, irony, racial and gender stereotypes, sexual fantasies, and fetishes. Inspired by Thomas Nast, Honoré Daumier, T.S. Sullivant, and James Gillray, amongst others, his drawings offer a satirical critique of modern consumer culture, and often seem to possess an outsider’s perspective—a self-conscious stance that Crumb frequently relates to his personal life.